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July 19, 1963 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-07-19

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Rabbi Fram . on Ford
Issue—and a Reply

Editor, The Jewish News:
I fully agree with your com-
ment on the proposal that the
United States Post Office shall
issue a commemorative Ford
stamp on the occasion of the
100th anniversary of the birth
of Henry Ford.
.1 do believe that the Post Of-
fice had more than one reason
for refusing the requeSt. Never-
theless, I am equally convinced
that it would not have been
correct for Jews to boycott the
100th anniversary observance of
the manufacturing genius. No
one can question the contribu-
tion that Henry Ford made to
the industrial development of
the City of Detroit and of Amer-
ica in general. It is this that is
being celebrated,
Henry Ford's anti-Semitism
was an episode in his life. It
was not his principal interest or
Above all, the fact remains
that Henry Ford apologized. He
took action during his lifetime
to purge himself of the sin of
his anti-Semitism. What more
can a fair-minded person ask?
Even though it is true that his
apology did not undo the evil
his anti-Semitic publications had
wrought, it is also not to be
questioned but that , his com-
plete and unconditional apology
also made a strong impression
on the American people and
served greatly to repudiate anti-
Semitism in American life and
reduce its impact.
The best illustration of this is
to be found in his own family.
As you yourself imply, it would
be difficult to find a family
which is so completely free of
racial or religious prejudice as
the Ford family.
The Henry Ford centennial
observance takes the form of a
city's celebration of the scien-
tific, technological and indus-
trial progress, which made of
Detroit in the time of the na-
tion's need the arsenal of de-
mocracy. As citizens of Detroit
who have shared in all the val-
ues of our city's function as the
nucleus of an automotive indus-
try, which has transformed the
face of the earth and the life of
mankind, it seems to me we
could not refuse to participate.
This is why when I was asked
to serve on the committee in a
modest capacity I decided, after
careful thought, to accept. I am
sure my participation will not
be interpreted as an appease-
ment of anti-Semitism or anti-
Semites. There is not a trace of
anti-Semitism left in the Ford
establishment, and Detroit is a
city in which, as our defense ag-
encies know, anti-Semitic activ-
ity is at a minimum, I am sure
my participation will be accept-
ed as expressive primarily of
the belief that a Detroit celebra-
tion in memory ' of one of the
manufacturing geniuses, who
built Detroit and its principal
industry, is something from
which Jews need neither be ex-
cluded nor exclude themselves.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Was anti-
Semitism a mere episode in
Henry Ford's life, and was it
really finalized with his apol-
ogy? The Ford apology, which
was written for him by Louis
Marshall, was made on July 7,
1927. But in the 1930s the Ford
name began to appear again and
again in news in Germany, and
in Latin American countries, as
well as in this country, in rela-
tion to renewed anti-Semitic
camp a i g n s. A Congressional
committee that was engaged in
investigations of Nazi activities
in this country in the early
1930s was called upon to probe
the anti-Semitic background of
Henry Ford — because of the
manner in which "The Interna-

tional Jew" canards were being
circulated in Germany, in Bra-
zil, in Spain ... The reprinted
Ford articles appeared in Ger-
many and the brutal Nazi youth
leader, Baldur von Schirach,
was quoted as stating that the
Ford views brought him to Hit-
lerism . . In 1938 the highest
Hitler award, the Grand Cross
of the Supreme Order of the
German Eagle, was presented to
Henry Ford in the latter's office
by the German. Consul in Cleve-
land, Karl Capp, in the presence
of the German Consul in De-
troit, Fritz Hailer (remember
his name, Rabbi?), E. G. Lie-
bold and William J. Cameron.
. .. Henry Ford then received
Hitler's p e r s on al congratula-
tions: it was in the year of the
Krystalnacht when all the syn-
agogues in Germany were set on
fire . . . This was 11 years after
the apology and the late Harold
Ickes branded Henry Ford's ac-
tion "contemptuous distinction"
. . Henry Ford's reply to those
who urged that he return the
token of shame was the state-
ment: "I'm going to keep it!"
. . . In December of 1938, after
the Krystalnacht, when the Nazi
aim to exterminate the Jews no
longer was a secret, Dr. Leo M.
Franklin was given Henry Ford's
permission to issue a statement
in his name denying that accept-
ance of the Nazi medal "in-
volved any symapthy on my part
with Nazism." „ . . A day after
that statement was publislied-
it was a statement that might
have cleared the Henry Ford
name at last—Father Coughlin
became involved in it, doubt as
to Henry Ford's intentions was
injected by Harry Bennett and
instead of a human act there
emerged a shocking scandal in
which the late Dr. Franklin • was
an innocent victim . . . Fritz
Kuhn (remember his name,
Rabbi?), a proven Nazi agent,
was among those who were
courted by Henry Ford . . . In
the early 1940s the UAW-C10
accused the Ford Motor Co. of
"Nazi sympathies" and that corn-
pany, which now stands com-
pletely absolved of bigotry, had
its name besmirched as a result
of the Nazi ties of its elder
statesman . .. There also were
accusations that the elder Ford
was linked with the Ku Klux
Klan ... "Bootlickers of Hitler"
were the titles linked with the•
names of the elder Ford and
Lindbergh in a radio address
delivered in England in 1941 by
Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert E.
Sherwood . . . Late in 1939
there were complimentary ref-
erences about Hitler from Hen-
ry Ford, and while even
Churchill and Lloyd George had
made complimentary remarks
about Hitler in the mid-1930s,
they recanted by cond-ucting the
battle against Nazism . . . Did
Henry Ford even fully recant?
. . . What about the strongly
anti-Semitic remarks of the
founder of the great automobile
manufacturing firm, as late as
1941—it could have been in
1942—that "I still believe that
the international Jew is respon-
sible for the war . . . It was late
—much too late—that the Ford
attorneys threatened, in 1942, to
start suit against any firm that
would use the Ford name in re-
printing his "International Jew"
. . . By that time Baldur von
Schirach already had imbided
the poison that came from Dear-
born, Mich. . . . (Sce William L.
Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of
the Third Reich," page 149:
"The Reich Youth Leader was
Baldur von Schirach, a roman-
tically minded young man and
an energetic organizer, whose
mother was an American, and
whose great-grandfather, a
Union officer, had lost a leg at
Bull Run . ; he told his American
jailers at Nuremberg that he
had become an anti-Semite at
the age fo 17 after reading a
book called 'International Jew,'
by Henry Ford."). (An added

Gerold Frank Explains
Motivations of 'Deed'

Editor, The Jewish News:
I returned from a lecture
tour in the West to read your
column, "Purely Commentary"
of June 28; and because you
have been so generous to me
and to my book, "The 'Deed,"
I ask your indulgence in reply-
ing to the issue you pose in that
column. You write that-- I
should have "related the in-
humanity of Lord Moyne's pro-
jected plan of action against
the Jewish community of Pales-
tine" as one of the reasons that
"necessitated" the assassination
of Moyne, British Minister of
State in Cairo in 1944 by two
young Sternists from Palestine.
It's essential. to understand
the primary reasons for which
Eliahu Hakim, 17, and Eliahu
Bet - Zouri, 22, assassinated
Moyne. As I try to make clear
in the book, the assassination
was not an act of revenge. It
was not a punishment. Bet-
Zouri explained in court that
it was a political act carried
out for high moral reasons, a
political assassination of the
symbol of intolerable foreign
rule over the free Jews of
Palestine. It was the British
Minister of State, not Moyne
the man, who was assassinated;
so whether or not he had a plan,
good or bad, was of no conse-
quence. If the boys had assassi-
nated him primarily in revenge,
or to prevent him from carrying
out a plan, the deed loses its
moral significance and becomes
simply an act of murder without
the ideololical quality which
imbued the boys. They hoped
to change the course of history
not by removing Moyne, the
man, from the scene, but by
striking a world-shaking blow
against the symbol of that alien
power that kept them in bon-
dage in their own. homeland.
This is how they saw it and how
I tried to report it.
You will read on Page 191 of
"The Deed": "They (the three
Sternist leaders) discussed Lord
Moyne. The man was not favor-
able to Zionism . . . No, he was
not their friend. But this is not
why he had been marked for
death: he had been chosen as
the chief representative of the
foreign ruler—the symbol of
foreign rule itself."
Behind this major reason
were subsidiary reasons: a
blow against colonialism; a
blow to show the Arabs that
the Sternists' fight "was not
only a struggle for a people's
liberation but had a wider
meaning for all the peoples of
the Middle East" (Page 157);
an act to reveal to the world
what was going on in Palestine
behind a mall of silence; an act
to show that the struggle was
"not a misunderstanding be-
tween natives and a local ad-
ministration—but a major con-
flict between a fighting nation
whish demands national free-
dom and an imperialistic power
which denies it" (Page 191);
etc. etc.—all these lay in the
thinking of Sternist leaders.
Therefore, I stress the point
again: it was not revenge nor
a punishment or reprisal car-
ried out on Moyne as Moyne.
If I belabor,.
this point", it is
misread it is,to,Mis,

read the Deed—the act which
meant taking the life of a man
and for which the two Eliahus
were prepared to give, and did
give, their own lives.
230 W. 79th St.,
New York 24
* * *

Recalls Hardships as
1919-1955 Ford Employee

Editor, The Jewish News:
In reading the article in
Purely Commentary with refer-
ence to the late Henry Ford, I
cannot help but add my own
comment which we might call
looking out from the INSIDE
and NOT looking in from the
It is gratifying to read that
the United States Post Office
has turned down the suggestion
of Congressman John Lesinski
that a stamp be placed in cir-
culation commemorating the
100th anniversary of the late
Henry Ford.
Aside from the commercial
and advertising values the
stamp could bring to the Ford
Motor Company, we must NOT
overlook the fact of other rea-
sons why the stamp cannot be
put into circulation. Henry Ford
knew what was going on in his
plant at the River Rouge. Did
he do anything to remedy the
situation? To all indications he
did not. I am writing this ar-
ticle as a former Ford Motor
Company employee, with almost
37 years of seniority as a tool-
It would take up too much
space were I to write of the
things that took place in the
tool room for 20 years before
the Union laid its foundation.
For example, a foreman would
hide behind posts and watch
workers to see if they were
smiling, or if they were talking
to another worker, or if they
stayed in the men's room a
little longer than the foreman
allowed. It was nothing un-
usual in those days for the fore-
man to come over to the worker
they had been watching, and
lay them off, or tell them they

were through. I was in the cate-
gory of being laid off. Time
after time I was laid off, not
because there was a shortage of
work, but because I was a Jew.
This is NOT fiction but fact.
Henry Ford knew what was
going on, but perhaps one can
blame his supervisors or fore-
men, nevertheless it was hell.
A miracle happened on June
20, 1941, when the UAW-CIO
laid its foundation. We became
as one might say human beings
with dignity. We were then
classified to the work and pay
to which we were entitled.
The present heads of the
Ford Motor Co. are living in
another world, and they are of
another generation. They rea-
lize that they are industrialists,
and not men who have the right
to tell workers how to lead
their lives. It is indeed gratify-
ing to hear that the heads of
the Ford Motor Co. have been
giving untold amounts to vari-
ous causes, regardless of race,
color or creed. They are to be
commended for their actions.
I repeat, I am glad that the
stamp commemorating Henry
Ford's 100th anniversary was
rejected by the United States
Post Office.
Ford Motor Company employee
March 1919-Dec. 1955
18275 Stoepel

Mrs. Ginzburg Wins
Top Italy Prize for
`A Family History'

ROME, (JTA) — Italy's fore-
most Strega literary prize was
awarded to Natalie Levi Ginz-
burg, widow of Leon Ginzburg,
Russian-born Jewish editor of
an anti-Nazi paper here who
was tortured to death by the
Nazis during the Second World
Mrs. Ginzburg's book, "A
Family History," is a biographi-
cal account of her family and
Italy's leading Jews and non-
Jews among the anti-fascist in-
tellectual society between the
two world wars.

Congratulations to


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1 1 — THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, July 19, 1963


Is History Bunk?

quota tion from an article,
"Power is the Prize," by Allan
Nevins and Frank Ernest Hill,
in American Heritage, Decem-
ber 1962 (the Harry referred to
is Harry Bennett who was
Henry Ford's chief lieutenant):
"One of Ford's remarks chills
the blood. 'The Jews and Com-
munists,' he said, 'have been
working on poor Harry until
he's almost out of his mind.' ").
Should we honor the name of
Henry Ford? Note that in our
criticism now, as in our last
week's issue, the expose was
not of the Ford family, of
Ford's son or grandsons, for all
of whom we retain the deepest
respect, but only for the Ford
who bore the name Henry.
* * *

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